Eats, shoots, and leaves.

“Saying that [the maiden] is likened to a palm tree is saying that she has the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). The roots of the palm tree are in touch with the spring of living water, and although the leaves and branches are scorched by the sun, it still grows without any hindrance. Even though believers may suffer greet trials in the wilderness, they are not affected, because of their union with Christ, and they can still grow.”

The Song of Songs, Watchman Nee

Tidbits from my last month of pre-clinical classes:

My new favorite hormone is relaxin, a mammogenic hormone that promotes breast growth.

In acute pancreatitis, your pancreas eats you. Then the medical treatment is that you eat it.

Wait, what?

Your pancreas is an organ that creates and stores hormones that help you break down your food. But sometimes something happens to accidentally activate and release all those stored up digestive enzymes—think of breaking your soy sauce bottle in the car and the subsequent drippage—and then those leaking digestive enzymes start to chew up everything around it, like your stomach and duodenum and, well, you.

Eventually the carnage ceases. Your body contains all the damage and you end up with a pseudocyst, or a sac of digested-you-fluid, centered around your traumatized pancreas. What do you do to drain that fluid?

Well, doctors sometimes put a little shunt in between the pseudocyst and the wall of your stomach, and that digested-you-fluid drains right into your stomach, down your intestines, and out. In other words, you eat the you that you ate.

Sometimes I wonder if my explanation of these disease processes in layman’s terms are more or less confusing. I just like confusing wordplay. Sorry.

I’m back to living under my parents’ roof. Quite literally; my room’s ceiling is all exposed beams and rafters. Lately it’s been raining, and I’ve been thinking to myself, how lucky am I for being able to sleep, comfortably warm, to the sound of rain against a sturdy roof, with moonlight sifting through the skylight? Sometimes I wake up to the crescendoing click-click of my dog’s claws against the floor and his snuffling snout in my face. I drink my morning tea and look at the hazy sunrise and think, Lord, I don’t work or build houses, but not even King Solomon’s palace compares with a home like mine.

I heard a message over Thanksgiving that resounded in me.

When Jesus was returning to Jerusalem for His crucifixion, a great hullaballoo was made. He finessed a colt as his ill ride, the populace blanketed the ground with palm fronds, and the general consensus was, “Hosanna*! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Imagine if at that time, after entering into the city, after all the hubbub had hubbed and bubbed, the colt turned and looked at Jesus, saying, “Wow, what a brouhaha! Now were they saying that to You, or to me?”

It’s a ridiculous image. One is the Prince of Peace, Eternal Father, Wonderful Counselor. One is a young donkey who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

We laugh. Then when we serve the Lord and deliver Him to people, whether through our words, through our actions, through our living, and they praise us for it, too often we accept the praise as if it were directed at us. We are bashful, humble, honored, fake-humble, embarrassed, and inwardly pleased. But I received a reminder. I am the donkey. Whatever praise my life may elicit is because of the One I bear, and no one else.

*Hosanna means, save, please!

Aaron’s budded rod is one of the three items in the Ark of the Testimony toted around by the children of Israel. The way it was made was quite particular. The children of Israel were starting to question Aaron’s authority as High Priest. Why couldn’t the leader of any of the other tribes of Israel be God’s deputy authority? To put an end to all of this, Jehovah spoke to Moses in Numbers 17, telling all the leaders of each tribe to give him a rod. Moses was to write on each rod its owner’s name. Then they were placed in front of the Tent of Meeting overnight, after which the rod of the chosen man would bud.

Isn’t that marvelous? I’ve seen stumps bud. But I have never seen a rod, a stick, bud. That night, a speaker at the Thanksgiving conference remarked, must have been a long night for every man whose rod lay on the dew-soaked ground. But it was probably the longest night for Aaron, the incumbent.

The next morning, Aaron’s rod had not only sprouted shoots, but even bore almonds. And not only that, but the almonds were ripe. When the leaders of the children of Israel returned and received back their rods, no one spoke a word. They acknowledged God’s choosing. What’s more, not even Aaron spoke anything. He acknowledged God’s choosing, too—not as a reflection of his own capability, but God’s ability to do something in him, a dead stick just like the rest of them, and to bring him into resurrection, to be something he could never be. In a sense, God’s choosing his rod was not a vindication of his rightful role, but an assertation of His own authority. In a way, I think Aaron realized he was merely the donkey, bearing the King of glory, as the thornbush the fire.